Right Opinion

A Nation Going to Pot

Burt Prelutsky · Feb. 16, 2019

Democrats always claim to be looking out for the poor, and yet they’re always promoting higher taxes for gas, cigarettes, beer and soft drinks, items that hit the poor the hardest. They also push in state after state for the legalization of marijuana, all in pursuit of additional tax revenue.

When it comes to sucking up additional tax dollars for their political coffers, everything else takes second place.

The main reason they care so much about increasing taxes is because that is the source of the welfare they dole out to poor people who then show their gratitude by voting for their benefactors, unaware of the fact that the money given them was often their own to begin with.

But you don’t have to be poor and stupid to be fooled by that particular shell game. Aren’t those of us who pay quarterly taxes or have taxes withheld from our paychecks not equally delighted to receive a tax refund?

But there is something particularly vile about the various states legalizing recreational pot. Worst of all, it’s not the legislators shoving it down our throats; it’s the citizens in Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont, Washington and Washington, D.C.

What’s so striking about it is that the majority of people who are voting to legalize it will never use it. That’s because the pot propagandists have been working long and hard to convince us that the stuff is perfectly harmless. Stoopnagels like Bill Maher, Cheech and Chong, Woody Harrelson, George Carlin and just about every other stand-up comedian, have been waging decades-long campaigns to convince us it’s cool and harmless, as has Hollywood, starting with the movie “MASH.”

When they get really desperate, they stoop to claiming it’s less harmful than alcohol, which is the same technique employed by the likes of Sen. Steny Hoyer when he plays down the murders and rapes committed by illegal aliens by pointing out that we already have plenty of home-grown murderers and rapists, so what’s the big deal if we import a few more?

We have also been bombarded by the alleged benefits of medical marijuana. At least that might have persuaded me that pot isn’t all bad, had I not read an article by Alex Berenson that he titled “Marijuana, Mental Illness and Violence.”

He begins by letting us know that he came by his interest in marijuana because of his wife, who, until recently, had been a senior psychiatrist at the Mid-Hudson Forensic Psychiatric Institute, home to 300 men who had been judged not guilty of their violent crimes by reason of insanity. These are men who have been determined to suffer from psychotic disorders, such as schizophrenia, that provoked them to kill both family members and perfect strangers.

“A couple of years ago,” Berenson recalls, “my wife Jackie was telling me about a patient. In passing, she said something like, ‘Of course he’d been smoking pot his whole life.’

Of course?“ I said. "Yes,” she said, “they all smoke it.”

He went on: “I was surprised, to say the least. I tended to be a libertarian when it came to drugs. Years before, I’d covered the pharmaceutical industry for the New York Times. I was aware of the claims about marijuana as medicine, and I’d watched the slow spread of legalized cannabis without much interest.”

After his wife suggested that he should read some of the major studies that had been conducted, not just in this country, but in Europe, he read them all. The studies that are never referred to when the propagandists are rhapsodizing about the positive effects of the stuff paint a far different picture.

As Berenson, who not only read every study he could lay his hands on but spoke to every psychiatrist and brain scientist who agreed to be interviewed, puts it: “I soon realized that in all my years as a journalist, I had never seen a story where the gap between insider and outsider knowledge was so great, or the stakes so high.”

He discovered that even the positive claims about pot as a pain preventer were highly exaggerated. “They are rarely tested against other pain relief drugs like ibuprofen. Just last July, a major four-year study of patients with chronic pain in Australia showed cannabis use was associated with greater pain over time.”

Furthermore, cannabis today isn’t the same as the stuff people were puffing on in the 1970s. Back then, the amount of THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol), the chemical in cannabis responsible for its psychoactive effects measured just 2%. Today, marijuana typically measures 20-25% THC.

In Finland and Denmark, two countries that track mental illness far more comprehensively than we do, they found a significant increase in violence since 2000, following an increase in cannabis use.

Here in the States, advocates insisted that legalizing marijuana would decrease crime, allowing the police to focus on actual criminals. In a 2017 speech, presidential aspirant Sen. Cory Booker claimed that “states that have legalized pot are seeing far less violent crime.”

But, as Berenson concludes: “The first four states to legalize marijuana were Colorado and Washington in 2014 and Alaska and Oregon in 2015. Combined, those four states had about 450 murders and 30,300 aggravated assaults in 2013. Last year, they had almost 620 murders and 38,000 aggravated assaults, an increase of 37% for murders and 25% for assaults.”

In short, those getting rich in the pot industry and the liberal politicians who abet them have been blowing smoke up our ass long enough, and it’s time to make America a smoke-free environment.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the 29-year-old ditz who has become the face and voice of the Democratic Party, has come out with what she calls the Green New Deal, which is so stupid that even Nancy Pelosi is doing her best to stamp it down before it helps propel Donald Trump into his second term.

It calls for banning fossil fuels and nuclear power by 2030. Which would not only put an end to planes and cars but require the retrofitting of every home and building in the nation. It would also lead tens of millions of people to lose their jobs. But that wouldn’t matter because the youngest member of Congress also plans to offer every American a living wage, whether he or she is unable or even unwilling to work.

It would turn the U.S. into a third world country in 11 years. Or possibly even a fourth world country because even third world nations have cattle. You see, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez also wants to have cows removed from the landscape because she’s convinced that they are so flatulent, their farts are causing global-warming.

So, it’s adios, Sholom and auf Wiedersehen, to tenderloins, T-bones and hamburgers. Welcome to the brave new stupid, beefless world, of the Democrats.

Howard Schultz, who put overly expensive coffee on the map, resents being called a billionaire, preferring to be referred to as a person of means. It seems he is upset with the current tax rate, claiming he, a person of means, should be paying more in taxes.

I don’t disagree. My question is, what’s stopping him? The IRS only insists you pay what you have to but has never prevented anyone from paying more. In the spirit of helping my fellow man, I am stepping forward to invite Mr. Schultz to get the ball rolling by paying my taxes.

Somebody has suggested that 49-year-old Cory Booker could break away from the overcrowded field of Democrats seeking the presidency next year by identifying himself as the only unmarried vegan in the race.

It’s true that would have a definite appeal to a couple of blocs of voters; namely those who would say good riddance to all of those flatulent cows and those unmarried middle-aged men found most frequently in such places as Greenwich Village, West L.A. and San Francisco.

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